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Tinubu Orders Probe of Halima Shehu Over Alleged N44bn Fraud

Touchaheart – President Bola Tinubu has suspended the National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), Halima Shehu, and the Director of Finance, Hamza Buwai, over allegations of massive corruption and embezzlement of public funds.

A whistle-blower from NSIPA, who spoke to journalists on condition of anonymity, revealed that Halima Shehu and Hamza Buwai had transferred over N44 billion from the agency’s account without due authorization from the President, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, or the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

According to the source, the illegal transfers occurred within the last five days, and Hamza Buwai, whose tenure ended on 29th December 2023, was still involved in moving government money from the NSIPA account.

The source also claimed that Hamza Buwai was already under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for his role in diverting funds during the previous administration.

The source expressed concern that there was a deliberate attempt to cover up the fraud by Halima Shehu and Hamza Buwai, who had relocated to a private office in Maitama.

However, the source urged the authorities to intervene and bring the culprits to justice.

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Halima Shehu’s Controversial Past

This is not the first time that Halima Shehu has been implicated in financial scandals.

As the former Coordinator of the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO), she was responsible for the distribution of $322.5 million recovered from the late dictator, Sani Abacha.

However, many Nigerians criticized the process as lacking transparency and accountability, and accused her of mismanaging the funds.

Halima Shehu was appointed as the new National Coordinator of NSIPA by the Senate on 18th October 2023, despite the reservations of some lawmakers and civil society groups.

She was said to be a close associate of the former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouk, who is also facing allegations of corruption and money laundering.

Sadiya Umar-Farouk Denies Link with Contractor

In a related development, Sadiya Umar-Farouk has denied any connection with James Okwete, a contractor who was arrested by the EFCC for allegedly laundering N37 billion from the humanitarian ministry under her supervision.

In a tweet posted on her verified X account, she said that James Okwete was a stranger to her, and that any claim of his affiliation with her was false and malicious.

She also said that she was ready to cooperate with the EFCC and clear her name.

(National Accord Newspaper)

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